Friday, April 5, 2013 | 3:15 p.m.
The Findlay Prep basketball team’s winning streak is over. So is the perennial power Pilots’ season.
Findlay Prep, which had won 54 straight games dating back to 2011, was defeated Friday by St. Benedict’s of New Jersey in the semifinals of the ESPN National High School Invitational in North Bethesda, Md., 60-57.
The Pilots trailed by eight points entering the fourth quarter, but used a pair of 3-pointers from Allerik Freeman in going on a 12-0 scoring outburst to lead 53-49 with 4:30 to play.
Findlay, playing for its fourth ESPN title in five years, had made a habit of rallying to win games in the tournament and appeared to have do so again. Thursday, they trailed by eight points with about five minutes to play against Montrose Christian in the quarterfinals before rallying to win, and in last year’s championship game the Pilots erased an 18-point second-half deficit to beat Montverde Academy in overtime.
But St. Benedict, which led from midway through the first quarter until Findlay took the lead midway through the fourth, didn’t back down and closed the game on an 11-4 scoring run to eliminate the Pilots.
McDonald’s All-American Nigel Williams-Goss, the first four-year player in the seven-year history of the Findlay program, had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting to lead the way. He had a solid look at the basket for the final shot of the game, but misfired on a 3-pointer that would have forced overtime.
Freeman and Gavin Schilling each scored 10 points for the Pilots, which despite the defeat will finish ranked No. 1 in most rankings. Most high school teams end their seasons in late February and final rankings are released in March.
Findlay has a remarkable 193-9 record over the past six seasons. It finished 35-1 this season.